A diagnostic medical sonographer is an expert in sonograms and ultrasounds, helping physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions from pregnancy to brain tumors.
Ultrasound is a non-invasive way to see internal organs, so it goes without saying, an ultrasound is often the first imaging test performed. As a diagnostic medical sonographer, you’ll help doctors diagnose and treat medical conditions by operating the imaging equipment, reviewing images to be sure they are of good quality, and identifying normal and abnormal imaging results. You’ll also help educate patients throughout the ultrasound exam.
The most common education path for a diagnostic medical sonographer is an Associate’s degree through an accredited sonography training program. Bachelor’s degrees are also available, and even a one-year certificate program for those already trained in another healthcare field. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health/Education Programs (CAAHEP) has accredited 150 programs offered by colleges and universities, as well as some hospital training programs.
There’s also the opportunity to specialize. Vascular technologists create images of blood vessels. Echocardiographer image the heart. Obstetric and gynecologic sonographers specialize in the female reproductive system. Sonographers can also specialize in areas such as the abdomen or musculoskeletal system. If specializing is an interest for you, be sure that your program of choice offers your desired specialty.
From MRIs and X-rays, a career as a diagnostic medical sonographer offers many opportunities.